“Fuck.” Thunk. “My.” Thunk. “Life.” Thunk.
With one last smack of my forehead against the countertop, I kept it pressed against the cold marble and groaned loudly. Why? Why did I have to say that? I mean, everything was going so well. We were conversing, joking at one point even! And then of course, the one time I can talk in her presence without sounding like a complete blubbering buffoon. I go and put my fang in my lip!
Sighing, I stood up to my full height and walked over to the refrigerator. Opening the doors, I paused to decide what I wanted to drown my sorrows in. Oh, who am I kidding? Grabbing another pint of rocky road off the freezer shelf, I closed the shiny silver doors. And retook my seat in front of the other two empty pints of rocky road and a half empty bottle of jack.
How could I call her that? How could I forget? One of Kaiya’s only insecurities and I went and reaffirmed it in one go. Yanking the lid off, I threw it to the side and picked up my spoon to dig in. She hated me. The way she said fuck you and then told me she wasn’t stupid. Moon, she damn near broke my heart. Especially, when I thought I had seen a sheen of tears in her ruby red eyes. If I made her cry? No. I couldn’t even think of that possibility.
Mate angry. Go fix.
The words were a growled rumble coming from Slader. As if it wasn’t bad enough to have my own thoughts putting me in a shit mood, my wolf did it too. It’d only been a day since the incident and I was still torn up about it.
It’s not that easy, Slader. I thought back to him while shoveling another spoon full of rocky road into my mouth. Tilting my head back, I grabbed the jack and poured a shot’s worth in before swallowing.
Kill stupid. Get mates love back. Simple.
I rolled my eyes at his smug tone, You can’t kill words, Slader. And she doesn’t love us.
Because you no tell mate about bond. You scared, Slader not. Slader do it.
I tensed as he tried to force himself into the driver’s seat of my body. No. You’ll piss her off even more. Besides she rejects every male that asks her to accept it.
Slader whined. We not everyone. Mate see. She our moon. Only one for Slader. Only one for Ryan.
I sighed as I took another bite of ice cream. The sad thing was, Slader was right. Kaiya is the only she-wolf for us. Since we first met my wolf has been drawn to her but up until five years ago I didn’t realize I was too. After that awakening, my wolf refuses to try and form a bond with anyone else. I don’t blame him though, lately he wasn’t the only one in love with her.
Go my Kai. Tell her we strong, I tell her wolf but she no have one.
Our Kai. I growled back at him. Greedy bastard always liked to say she was his when Kai was ignoring me or angry with me.
No. Kai no like you now. She mine.
My eyes rolled to the ceiling. Moon, she patted his head one time after we killed a buck in a hunt and he never let it go. He thought that was her confirming her interest. I didn’t have the heart to tell him she was actually just swiping guts off his fur.
Ours Slader, she’s our female and she doesn’t even know we exist so I don’t know why we’re arguing about this.
Ryan. Mate no have wolf or human. Mate both but mate more wolf. Respect strength and violence. Show her we have both.
I immediately went to reject his idea when it truly sunk in. He was right! I was going about this all wrong, I need to woo her. Not how a man would, she wouldn’t understand or respect that but as a wolf. There was just one problem…
How was I supposed to do that when every time I got near her I acted like a pup?
Stop that. Mate no like.
I huffed and took another bite of ice cream followed by a pour of whiskey into my open mouth. Everything was just sooo simple to him. Lucky bastard.
Abruptly, the kitchen light flickered on causing me to squeeze my eyes shut in pain. Taking a sniff of the air, I was hit with sandalwood, grass and blood.
“Who’s bleeding?” I asked them, keeping my eyes closed.
A muffled female voice answered back, “The fucking twat that pissed off Kai on sparring day and didn’t alert the pack when I find them.”
Grimacing, I opened my eyes to see Candice standing in front of me with a bloody nose and a black eye. Otis was at the sink wetting a washcloth for her. Probably to get the blood off her face.
“That twat would be me.”
“Why do you and Otis love pissing off the women in your lives?” She snorted and then instantly regretted it, if the look of pain that flashed across her face was any indication.
I sighed, “If only.” Sticking another spoonful of rocky road into my mouth, I went to pour the whiskey in next when Candice snatched it away.
“Hey!” I barked, “I’m nursing a broken heart here!”
Stools scraped out from across the island followed by the sound of bitchy laughter. Candice put the bottle to her lips and took a large pull before passing it to Otis, “You’re so dramatic. How can Kai break your heart when she doesn’t even know she has it?”
“You can unknowingly break someone’s heart.”
At that, both of us looked over at Otis in surprise as he took gulps from the bottle.
“Riiiight, so we’ll circle back to that later. What’d you do to her? Cause she did not hold back in training like usual.”
Dropping the spoon into a tub of rocky road, I grabbed the bottle from Otis and took a swig. Cradling it to my chest, I said, “I called her stupid.”
“You’re shitting me.”
“You know how she feels about that.”
“IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!”
“How do you accidentally tell the, quote love of your life unquote, that she’s stupid?” Candice questioned, taking the wet cloth and wiping the blood off of her face.
“Seriously, man?” Otis said, coldly. “She already feels uneducated around all of us and you had to go and say that?”
My heart sunk even lower in my chest, “I wasn’t thinking, okay? I was just so worried about the threatening notes and how she wasn’t taking them seriously. And it just came out but she’s not stupid, she’s the smartest wolf I know.”
“Of course she is, she has a wolf’s education. But for some reason Kai thinks because she never went to a human school, she’s not as smart as we are,” Candice lectured me in a righteous tone.
Sighing, I placed the bottle on the counter top and just stared at it. I should’ve known better than to let it slip out but I thought she had moved past that. If I wanted to be her mate I needed to know things like this. What her insecurities were and how to help her or avoid them. So something like yesterday never happened again, so I never hurt her again. Unintentionally or not.
I sat up straight and announced “I need to get to know her better.”
“You’ve known her for seven years and have been in love with her for five of them. How do you not know her well enough?” Candice asked, raising a blonde brow.
“A year.” I mumbled, making Otis laugh.
“I’ve only been in love with Kaiya for one year.”
Her blue eyes rolled to the back of her head, “Oh, I’m so sorry. One year. Like it makes it any better that you still haven’t told her.”
“I don’t want her to reject me like she does everyone else.”
“But everyone else is afraid not to take no as an answer. You aren’t.”
“What Otis means, dumbass, is that no one’s ever pushed for her to say yes to the mating bond.” The amount of attitude Candice was alluding was offensive but she did have a point.
My shoulders straightened as Slader perked up in my head, “That’s true.”
“And,” she added, “No one’s formed a bond to her in almost a year.”
I laughed nervously while Otis shook his head in disagreement, “No. They have. He,” a finger was aggressively pointed in my direction, “has fought off every single one for the right to lay claim. I’ve gotten twelve complaints about him. Twelve.”
Candices jaw dropped, “What? So all those scratches and bruises weren’t from training? Why wasn’t I told? I’m the Gamma even if you gave my position away to a tree licker.”
I shrugged unapologetically, what was I supposed to do? Let those mangy wolves try and bond to her? Me and my wolf growled deeply at that.
“For the last time, Candice. I did not give your position away. You’re always complaining about having no help, now you do. I don’t see the problem.” Otis complained.
Exasperated, Candice shouted,“Of course you don’t! Your cousin’s a weirdo. I told him to go fuck himself when he told me he was the new Co-Gamma. You know what he did! He screamed. Screamed.”
My brows rose in disbelief. What the fuck.
Otis cringed at her words, “Yeaaaa, he’s always done that. There’s nothing wrong with him, he’s just….Jasper. Just ignore it. Anyways, he’ll be a good Gamma just give him a chance.”
“A chance? You’re not the one that had to spend every-”
I cut her off, “Uh, Hello? We’re here to talk about me and how I can trick Kaiya into being my mate.”
Both of them immediately looked at me with concerned expressions. Otis took the bottle of whiskey and pulled it further across the table towards them, “Don’t you mean accept?”
“Isn’t that what I said?” I asked, confused.
Candice began to laugh when I just continued to stare at them in confusion, “He’s so far gone. If I didn’t know she could kick your ass seven ways to Sunday, I’d be afraid for her.”
“Okay. Okay. So it’s been like what? A day since you called her stupid?” Otis questioned.
"Accidently. And yes, how do I fix this?” I groaned out.
“Welllll, you did say you needed to get to know her right?”
“So apologize in a way she’ll understand and accept. Then get to know her better.”
I threw my hands up, “How, Otis? I already decided to woo her like a wolf but how?”
“Just...offer her a kill. I think?”
Candice nodded her agreement with Otis’ words.
A kill? I could do that, but what type of game does she like? Deer? Moose? Elk? Bear? Oh Moon, please don’t let it be bear.
“Okay, but what about getting her to open up to me? So, I can get to know her better.”
“First, you need to tell her that you’ve formed a human and a wolf bond to her.” Candice said patronizingly.
I waved a pale hand around with my words, “Can’t I just... I don’t know, not do that?”
She mimicked my hand movements, “Can’t you just..I don’t know, grow some fangs?”
Curling a lip, I flashed the fangs she thought I didn’t have.
“No, Candice is right. It’s time you told her, Ryan. You can’t keep fighting off potential mates for her when you haven’t made your own intentions clear. It’s not fair to Kaiya.”
Sighing, I ran a hand through my black locks before rubbing at my beard. Looking at Otis, I felt reluctance crawl up my throat, “I know it’s not fair to her but I won’t let others pursue her. Me and my wolf are selfish when it comes to Kai ...but we also fear her rejection.” Flicking my eyes between them, I continued, “Your right, though. I need to tell her. I will.”
“Okay so, you’re going to apologize? Check. And your going to tell her that you’ve formed both bonds to her? Check. All that’s left is for you to get to know her.”
Nodding at her words, we all lapsed into silence.
How could I get to know Kai more? Maybe hangout around her house? No, too stalkery and she’d hate having me invade her space. Join her in training? Nah, she’d kick my ass and I’m trying to show her I’m a suitable mate. Or that could hold some promise, If I sparred with other people. Let her see me as more than a blubbering idiot....
“I’ve got it!” Otis exclaimed, “I’ll assign you guys to the same shifts and duties for however long. So you can get to know her!”
“That’s...perfect! Thanks, man.” I grinned.
Candice didn’t agree, “Let me get this straight. You want to basically corner a Feral Born to ask her about her feelings and innermost thoughts?”
Me and Otis shared a look, “Yea. What’s wrong with that?”
She gave us a blank look, “Idiots. This pack is run by idiots.”
Standing up, she fixed her loose light pink jacket and track pants before leaving out of the back door muttering about how all men no matter the species were clueless.
“What’s her problem?” Otis asked.
I snorted, “There’s only one woman I care to figure out and that’s not her. Pass the whiskey.”
He slid the bottle across the counter towards me, “Now about the babbling thing you do in Kai’s presence...”
Flipping him off, I took a long drink from the bottle. I couldn’t wait for my future with Kai which got me to thinking, “You think she’ll want pups?”
Otis laughed so hard, he tumbled off his stool and to the floor.
Thank you everyone that’s taken an interest in my book!! We’re on chapter five now! Much love for the support!🤎
As always, comment or like at will! I enjoy the feedback!
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